The reflective properties of the sphere and the World Mirror collided, kicking up powerful gales throughout the tunnel. Charlotte and Muraco jumped back, trying to keep their distance from the ferocious energy clashing in front of them.
“H-He’s doing it!” Muraco cheered. “Just what the hell is his power?”
“That’s one of the things we’re trying to figure out…” Charlotte said, letting the calming aura from Adam drift her off into her thoughts.
“When he got upset in the cafeteria… The energy he created that cracked the walls… This doesn’t feel like that.”
Adam kept his focus on his hand—making sure to keep it pressed against the barrier. He noticed the sphere’s energy began to gather around it, attempting to push him back. For a moment, he wondered if this was a perfect opportunity for Charlotte and Muraco to try to attack from the other side. Feeling the energy he was facing, Adam concluded that this was something he should handle himself.
He could see it—the flowing power of the barrier. A moment passed before Adam realized that he could also feel it. A sense of discomfort came over him—noticing that something had been entering his brain.
Trying his best to think about what was happening while simultaneously using his Ability, Adam figured it out. He could simply describe it as ‘variables’ or some form of ‘data’ processing inside his head. The World Mirror’s ‘reflection’ seemed to have more than one definition. It reflected powers it came into contact with—yes—but in order to do that, it must also ‘reflect’ on how the opposing force operates.
Adam was beginning to understand the properties of the barrier. He could not put into words how it worked, but it did not matter. The World Mirror was taking care of analyzing the values that were presented to it, and Adam responded with what it had learned.
Something else was beginning to occur. As the barrier was unable to be reflected at the moment, the World Mirror’s energy began to leak out of Adam’s hand, forming around the sphere.
“What’s happening now!?” Muraco asked astonished.
The World Mirror merged with the barrier—now a spiraling mess of white and blue. Adam—with his now broken hand—pushed with all his might. With his strength, he smashed through the barrier.
It took a few seconds for it to register. Once the barrier realized what had happened, it was too late. It shattered into thousands of tiny blue pieces, consumed by the white energy of the World Mirror. From Charlotte and Muraco’s perspective, Adam’s Ability had literally pierced through the darkness.
Before he could view what was inside, Adam collapsed onto his knees, held up by his left hand.
“Adam!” Charlotte rushed to his side, making sure he was okay. Muraco quickly followed, yet kept his attention forward, using his ears to scout out what they had potentially just uncovered.
“I don’t hear anything…” Muraco attempted to brush away dust that had flown into his face from the resulting collapse.
Adam stood back up, attempting the channel his power into his hand to heal it. “I actually pulled it off. Unfortunately, that was a lot louder than I hoped it would be. So, we better make this quick.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll get us out of here as soon as we check the contents,” Charlotte assured him. She faced forward, as the three patiently awaited the dust to settle. Adam’s eyes, however, were already focusing in on something.
“Red… What is that red aura?”
“Huh? Red?” Charlotte focused her senses to the best of her ability. She quickly felt what Adam had been seeing. “This is…!”
A tiny, black coffin came into view. This was the only thing that had been hidden inside the barrier—resting within the darkness.
“It… has such foul energy,” Charlotte commented, feeling sick to her stomach.
“Red…” Adam gritted his teeth. “Yeah. I assume this has to be chaonic energy… It would make sense. That’s usually red…”
“So, you can see that kind of energy as well?” Muraco asked. “It’s not visible to the naked eye either… at least not in this state. Actually, can it be visible?”
“It operates the same way as phantons, in that regard. Usually invisible, but can be seen if enough energy has gathered. It seems… calm, for chaonic energy. Everything I’ve read about it, it’s usually quite chaotic.”
“Chaos… Is that where it gets its name?” Charlotte questioned.
“Chaons? Yeah. There was a little sentence we used in school to remember it: If they’re chaotic, they’re chaonic.” Adam chuckled. “So stupid. But it gets the point across.”
“Regardless, this is a coffin… hidden behind quite the powerful barrier. Is… is this the seal? Is something sealed inside that coffin that shouldn’t be unleashed?” Charlotte formed a new, normal-sized sword, pointing it forward.
“Jerry and the others don’t think it is. Obviously, there’s still something quite freaky inside there.” Adam sighed, cracking his knuckles. “Well, we don’t wanna leave empty-handed. Let’s break it open.”
“W-Wait!” Muraco shouted. “Aren’t you supposed to respect coffins!? They hold your dead, correct? A-And if there’s something chaonic in there—”
“All the more reason to break in. I don’t want someone having to suffer through something like that. Chaons are toxic to people, after all.”
“I-I mean… they would be dead, anyway, right?”
“You were literally just talking about respect seconds ago, hero.”
“Will you two stop?” Charlotte held her head in frustration. “Let’s just—”
Adam let out a gasp. He watched as a blue streak of light swept across his vision, knocking the top of the coffin clean off. Before they could do anything, a burst of visible, crimson energy shot out into the open. Although it was only slightly larger than the coffin it originated from, they could feel the pure animosity that had just been awakened.
“W-What the!?” Adam raised his hands in time, as a wave of energy blasted him into the wall on the other side of the tunnel.
“Adam!” As Charlotte reacted to the attack on her friend, a second wave was aiming directly at her.
“Charlotte!” Muraco managed to lightly kick Charlotte out of the way before she was hit. A third attack was now heading toward him, which he was now prepared for. He jumped out of the way as multiple blasts of power emerged from the crimson mass, focusing on him. With great reflexes, Muraco managed to evade all of them. They kept on going, however, and collided with Adam.
“Shit! Adam, are you okay—”
Adam jumped out of the impact site, keeping his body safe with the World Mirror’s aura surrounding him. “Yeah, peachy.” Even though his guard was flawless, he was unable to use the reflective properties he had just discovered on the chaonic energy. His body felt the sting of the power, as it quickly patched up any harm the attack did end up doing.
Charlotte, now wholly focused, slashed at the waves of energy that had continued to volley the trio. Adam ran ahead, swatting at whatever attacks he could come into contact with. Muraco sharpened his scarf with his Ability, extending it and striking back as well.
It seemed like the attack would not stop—none of them could even attempt to counter it—simply fend it off and defend themselves.
The blue streak once again appeared, this time forming around the crimson aura like it was attempting to bind it. It had finally become visible to Charlotte and Muraco as well, gathering massive amounts of energy from seemingly nowhere. After a brief struggle, the blue tried to begin merging into the red.
“This is…” Charlotte analyzed the situation, sensing exactly how the two powers were operating.
“What is it?” Adam asked, keeping his guard raised in case of another attack.
“The blue energy… It’s giving off similar properties to a possession. Is that what it’s trying to do…?”
“Possess…? Why?” Adam watched as his eyes gave him a clear view of the phenomenon at much greater detail than Charlotte and Muraco were seeing.
The red was now fighting back with great ferocity. Waves of red and blue were now scattering around the room, tearing the walls to shreds. If no one had heard Adam bust through the barrier, it was likely that they would now be hearing this event occur.
“What do we do!?” Muraco asked, holding his ears in front of his face to guard himself.
“I’m trying to think!” Charlotte shouted, using a shield to block the flurry of energy. “Adam, do you have any ideas!?”
“I…” Adam tried to contemplate a plan but lost his focus when he heard something. An odd noise was coming from ahead, muffled by the loud clash of powers. “Do you guys… hear that?”
“Hear what?” Charlotte asked.
“I don’t hear anything except this loud nonsense!” Muraco yelled.
“Even Muraco can’t hear it…? What is—”
“Huh?” Adam began to make out what the noise was.
“..lp. He… help…”
It was a voice. A tiny one—perhaps of a small child?
“There’s… someone in there.”
“Someone? Who?” Charlotte questioned.
Adam stepped forward. It was a voice, clearly asking for help. That alone made his feet move. Yet, there was something about this voice, something about it—despite it not being familiar to him—that made him come to the conclusion that he had to save whoever it was, no matter the cost.
“Adam? What are you doing!? Get back—”
As a red strike of energy struck his body, it was repelled off by the World Mirror’s aura. Adam walked ahead in a trance-like state, with his Ability keeping him safe, almost as if it was operating on its own.
Charlotte and Muraco watched in astonishment as continuous waves of red and blue were unable to phase the boy. Each step he took was absolute—there was nothing that could stop him. Eventually, he reached the actual source of the powers.
Without hesitation, Adam walked right into the epicenter of it all.
“Adam!” Charlotte’s shout was the last thing he heard before his vision faded to black.
My body felt like it was on fire.
I, for whatever reason, walked right into that mess that had formed in that room
The voice that had called out to me, the one asking for help, drew me in.
Now that I was inside, I could not see anything.
Did I make a mistake? Did I just foolishly throw my life away like that?
It wasn’t the first time I attempted that…
Before I got caught up in my dark thoughts, something came into my view.
It was a figure of pure white—casting its beautiful light through the darkness.
At first, I thought it was tiny due to me being far away from it. Upon getting closer, however, I realize that it was simply tiny in general.
A little girl… She seemed familiar to me. Although, in her current form, it was hard to make out any distinguishable features.
“Hey. Who are you?” I asked.
No response. She was just standing there. If I hadn’t gotten used to all the weird shit that had happened to me over the past month, I would consider it kind of creepy.
I attempted to ask her again, yet was stopped.
It was like the darkness had picked her up, grabbing her from above.
I tried to move—to save her—yet I was swept away by the same darkness.
Yeah… I could describe it like an invisible hand had snatched her, while an invisible tsunami had knocked me away.
The tsunami part seemed accurate—it honestly felt like I was drowning.
“World Mirror. I had to use the World Mirror!” I kept thinking to myself.
Struggling, I managed to get the World Mirror’s calming glow out of me.
I couldn’t force my way through nothingness, let alone use the reflective powers I had just discovered.
Nothingness… Yeah. That’s what it was.
Somehow, nothingness was causing this to happen.
The girl drifted further and further away from me.
I had to do something.
Reaching out my hand, I struggled harder than I ever struggled to grab her.
I don’t know why. The place seemed to defy time and space. She could be light-years away from me at this point.
Regardless, I still tried.
As I said, the place seemed to defy time and space. I had no clue how long it felt like, but it seemed like my attempt to catch her took years.
Eventually, the World Mirror wasn’t having any of it.
Yeah. It seemed like the World Mirror literally fell out of my hand—disappearing into the shadows.
I had nothing now. My Ability—rather—the Ability that I called my own Ability, had vanished.
What was left?
I’m not sure.
To be honest, I’m not sure to this day, my fellow past self.
Although, I had something.
My hand moved on its own—and with that simple wave—I shattered nothing. That unknown something literally destroyed the entire concept of nothing.
It doesn’t make sense—I know—but that’s the best way I could describe it.
After defying the time and space inside that ‘dimension,’ I guess I could call it, I had finally lost consciousness.
That was okay, though. Not only did I recover the World Mirror as quickly as it left me, but I had also saved that girl.
I’m sorry about what happens next.
Next: Chapter 2.15
Previous: Chapter 2.13